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The long-awaited replacement of the Astor Place K-Mart has revealed some exciting new details.
If you have ever visited Astor Place before July 2021, you have likely encountered the flagship K-Mart that once occupied the corner location at 770 Broadway. Open since 1996, K-Mart served the neighborhood as one of the largest big-box stores in the area, and played a definitive role in the corner’s history. Considered by many residents in the East Village to be “weird” and even “haunted”, the K-Mart even had its very own subway entrance, connecting directly to the bustling 6 line. Even your humble author can remember spending his halcyon days in the neighborhood rushing through the K-Mart, late for class and desperate to pick up last-minute school supplies.
Sadly, the K-Mart closed very abruptly in June 2021, leaving residents shocked to see such a staple of the neighborhood vanishing overnight. Numerous writers offered up their eulogies for the shuttered store, mourning a store that was rarely praised in its prime, but very much missed in its absence. While the vacancy of the corner at 770 Broadway was a sad blow to the neighborhood, the space will thankfully be filled in soon enough.
Earlier this year it was announced that the space had been acquired by the shopping giant Wegmans, who have only recently begun expanding into New York. In 2019, Wegmans began their expansion when they opened their first New York store in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and now they have just secured their first-ever Manhattan location on Astor Place. Under the terms of their 30-year lease, Wegmans will occupy space on both the street and lower levels of 770 Broadway for a total of roughly 82,000 square feet.
Wegmans CEO and President Colleen Wegman said of the deal that “This is something we’ve been dreaming about and working toward for a long time,” adding that “The community’s response to the opening of our Brooklyn store had an excitement and energy that you can only experience in New York City. You can feel that energy returning to the city and we are thrilled to be a part of it.”
The new store will feature all the traditional departments that Wegmans customers know and love, including Bakery, Produce, Pizza, and Deli, but this Astor Place location will feature much more. According to a recent liquor license application submitted to Community Board 2, the new Wegmans will also operate a “seafood-forward restaurant serving lunch and dinner,” with options for “sushi and sashimi, seafood platters, and raw oysters.” The restaurant is also expected to serve “vegetable-forward appetizers, dim sum, noodle dishes, burgers, poke bowls, and other diverse items.”
According to a sample menu provided with their application, diners can expect to enjoy a wide variety of sushi and sashimi options, as well as seafood platters, caviar, prawn cocktails, and steamed mussels. Lunch options will include a gozen bento box, Asian-style burgers, garlic noodles and wagyu beef lo-mein, as well as dim sum options like prawn shumai, xiaolongbao, and Japanese gyoza.
The restaurant will occupy 2,637 square feet of the store, and will be able to seat a total of 94 guests inside at one time. The space will also feature an 8-seat oyster bar and a 10-seat sushi bar, where guests can enjoy an exclusive omakase dining experience. The team is also looking to acquire a full liquor license for the store’s restaurant, and are proposing operating hours of 10:00 AM – 1:00 AM Sunday through Thursday, and 10:00 AM – 2:00 AM Friday and Saturday. The store is currently scheduled for a 2023 opening, and you can follow Wegmans on Instagram for further updates.